If you want to survive parenting, then you definitely need an outlet or escape plan from time to time. Otherwise – I promise you – you will either burn out, have a nervous breakdown or get divorced (if you’re married or are still married). Yes, I am being extremely blunt. But it is the truth. When your offspring contribute to your sleep deprivation or max out your patience, how do you handle diffusing your internal bomb before it goes off?
Yes, you need your outlet. Everyone must have one – or find one in a hurry. Everyone is different; some people need exercise others turn to chocolate (OK – ignore that suggestion). Anyway, you know what I mean. Here are some of my suggested outlets or releases in order to survive parenthood:
1. Yoga (or any physical exercise)
Honestly, pre-natal yoga lead me through a healthy pregnancy and delivery with my second. I actually swear by it. I felt mentally and physically strong and in shape. You can do yoga anytime and anywhere – on your own or in a class. Yoga is all about practice so do it often even if it is only for 10 minutes right before bed. A good stretch and a sun salutation will keep you relaxed.
2. Take A Drive
Get into your car and drive… Just drive.
Focus on the road of course, but let yourself go by also enjoying the peace and quiet, and perhaps scenery around you. You do this on your own without the kids or else this won’t work.
Close your eyes for 15 minutes during the day. If you have the luxury of working from home or being on mat/pat leave, you can – and must – schedule 15 minutes of snooze time a day.
I really try and follow my own advice on this one. If you don’t have the luxury of being at home and at work at the same time, be creative. My husband is – he naps on the train to and from work. Sometimes he even rides the subway on his lunch hour with no set destination but just to take a nap! Make sure you have an iPod and ear buds for this one to be effective.
4. Treat Yourself
Take yourself out for a tea or a mani/pedi – give yourself at least an hour of alone/me time if you are able. You need to do this – don’t feel guilty about it either.
So what’s your outlet? I try to employ all or some of my suggestions every day – right now I am going to focus on #3 because I’ll be up at 4:30am and that will be the extent of my nap!